Controversial minister of school education, Vasant Purke, is unlikely to hear the last of his proposal to introduce sex education for students of Class 5 and Class 9.
On Monday, BJP legislator Shobha Phadnavis moved a breach of privilege motion against him for making contradictory statements over sex education following his assurance to legislators last year that there would be a stay on the circular to make this a compulsory subject.
Phadnavis alleged that Purke made an assurance in the Assembly and then did a turn around by announcing in the Council that the government was following through with the proposal.
Just last Friday, Purke in his reply on education in the state announced that sex education would be made compulsory in schools. Despite opposition from most legislators, Purke had said that the proposal was the need of the hour considering the spread of AIDS in the state.
Phadnavis said the minister had insulted the Assembly by keeping its members in the dark till the last moment over the issue.
She said the subject was introduced in many schools in Vidarbha like Nagpur Tilak Vidyalaya without prior discussion or approval from the House. In another school, students were introduced to the subject and then condoms were distributed to them, she complained.
In Vidarbha, 5 lakh women had protested and launched a signature campaign against the move.
Speaker Babasaheb Kupekar accepted the motion. This motion will now be referred to a committee which will give a hearing to both parties and then give its judgement.
Leader of Opposition Ramdas Kadam demanded Purke’s resignation over the matter.
Purke is perhaps the most controversial of the Democratic Front ministers. He has faced flak over many of his announcements that have led to confusion among students, parents and teachers alike. This time round, however, he is likely to face ire of the legislators for clearing a proposal that was condemned across party lines.